As many of you know, I have a new cat. I’ve never been a cat owner before and I like it. He’s squishy and soft and loving and he likes to wake me in the morning for scratches with my long nails. For the first month or so, he was sleeping in my stepdaughter’s bed but she’s out of town a lot visiting her mom and aunts and so our little orange kitty has taken to sleeping in our bed. Precisely between my feet. No matter how many times I move him up to a less kicky location, he gets right back up again and pads down to the bottom of the bed and collapses in a sleepy, purry puddle all over my feet.
Needless to say, I get no sleep anymore as my nightly routine seems to be lying wide awake, alert in fear of kicking a little orange kitty. Last night, sleep was particularly elusive as said kitty was sprawled across my ankles and the wind was blowing loudly outside. The air was thick and muggy and I just gave up. I whipped out my phone and booted up Reddit and slipped in and out of consciousness until sunrise…
Sometimes, when I read something interesting while I’m dozy, I email it to myself so I don’t forget. I rose this morning to this post in my inbox.
I’m going to just apologize in advance for taking on an easy fight. I realize debunking this post is like shooting fish in a barrel, but really, what can you expect of me running on 12 minutes' sleep in the last week? Really?
Big Poppa Quran says he has a bunch of arguments for Islam that are “uncommon”. The flutter of excitement that comes with the idea of addressing something new fizzled out pretty quick because his first argument was:
MUHAMMADS CHARACTER: A person who claims to be a prophet is either a complete liar or a completely honest person and nothing in-between.
Muhammad was known as one of the most honest people, even his enemies thought so, therefore Muhammad couldn’t be a complete liar and was telling the truth.
Did you hear the sound of brakes screeching after the first premise? I did because there’s a big wall of logic right in front of us and if we keep going, we’re going to get clobbered by it. Your argument ain’t Halal and all you need to destroy it is one simple question:
Why can’t a person who claims to be a prophet be anything in between? Why can’t he or she be lying about this one particular thing? Maybe your prophet buddy didn’t really like your mom’s spaghetti last week. Maybe he does think those Bermuda shorts make your ass look fat. No person is 100% honest 100% of the time.
By this logic, anyone can claim to be a prophet, assert a true thing and we all must accept everything he or she says from that point forward. Don’t take it from me though, as palparepa commented on your post putting it far more eloquently:
Just for the first one, easily defeated with three assertions:
I’m a prophet.
Two plus two is four.
Islam is false.
From my first assertion, I’m either a complete liar or a completely honest person. Since my second assertion is true, I can’t be a complete liar, therefore I’m a completely honest person. So my third assertion must be true, therefore Islam is false.
As for the next part of this argument, you’re taking the word of total strangers that a man who lived a long time ago was an honest man. Do you just believe everything anyone asserts or do they have to be dead thousands of years first?
His second argument for Islam goes:
MUHAMMADS REVELATIONS: When the prophet used to get a revelation his face turned red and his body started to sweat.
These conditions can’t be faked, therefore his revelations were true.
Jesus Christ – I know this is the wrong prophet but Jesus Christ nonetheless. This argument could be destroyed by a gnat.
First, you have to recognize that ancient people claim the prophet would sweat and turn red. Again, you’re accepting the accounts of people who have been dead for over a thousand years as the gospel truth.
Second, these conditions can be faked – just ask Doug Williams, the world’s most vocal critic of the polygraph test. Formerly a police officer who administered the polygraph, he was trained to measure sweat activity and blood pressure. From this glorious article, in his own words,
The key realization occurred when a friend on the force came into the station describing a high-speed chase from the night before. With all the fear and adrenaline, he told Williams, the “pucker factor” had been high—he’d been “pinching doughnuts” out of the seat of his patrol car. That vivid image made Williams wonder if the same process could run in reverse, if an intentional “pucker” could trigger the physiological stress responses a polygraph traced. That would allow a subject to manipulate his response to the control questions and rig the test. For a lark, Williams hooked himself up to the machine in his office and clenched. “Lo and behold,” he recalls, “the most beautiful blood pressure increase you ever saw, accompanied by a corresponding increase in sweat activity in my hand.”
The man went on to develop training exercises that could help you fail or pass your polygraph on purpose. He’s now in federal prison for it.
Aside from that, all Momo Giggle Pants really had to do was consume a few extra dates at breakkie and wait for the “Oh shit” moment. You want revelation? I’ll show you revelation. Then I’ll flush it.
QURANIC STORIES: The stories contained in the Quran match the stories in Jewish and Christian Scriptures (Islam is supposed to be a continuation of the Abrahamic religions).
That means nothing. The accounts of nocturnal, undead blood-suckers match from Dracula to Bill Compton. Doesn’t indicate that vampires are truth so much as it does they are a meme.
There are three possible sources for these stories, a direct access to these scriptures, a non direct access or a revelation from God. A direct access is ruled out because Muhammad was illiterate, a non direct access is also ruled out because Muhammads enemies tried to find out who was telling him these stories and they couldn’t find out who, therefore the source of these stories is a true revelation from God.
So, essentially what you’re saying is that because a bunch of internetless uneducated men couldn’t sort out where Mo could have heard these stories, he had to have gotten them from god? There is no other possible explanation? Like perhaps, you know, just off the top off my head, maybe his enemies didn’t overturn every possible stone? Maybe they overlooked something? Maybe Mo was lying and he could read? Maybe his 9-year-old wife read him the stories or relayed them to him as she had been told them? Maybe he overheard it at McDick’s waiting on his chimken nuggies? I get the good word knocking on my door every week – I can’t escape hearing these stories even as Godless Mom. You’re telling me no one – not a soul – in Mo’s time ever chatted about it within earshot of the pseudo-prophet?
Besides, even if Mo didn’t get it through any earthly way, who’s to say it wasn’t telepathic aliens from Planet Poundcake or that Hammy wasn’t a time traveller? Why is it that “god” is the only acceptable supernatural cause?
While I appreciate these are relatively new arguments (to me), what you’ve got here is a bunch of round holes and a whole pile of square pegs. It’s like Elvis at a Ramones reunion. None of it fits and everyone’s dead.
Towards the end of the post, there is a note:
Edit: I am also an atheist, sorry if that wasn’t clear, I encountered these arguments while taking apologetics and was just wondering what other atheists think of them.
The fact that these arguments are being taught in an apologetics class just shows the level of desperation to which apologetics have stooped. I have better arguments for the Cleveland Browns’ potential to win the next Superbowl. However, all kitties aside, I might sleep better tonight knowing these arguments are what apologists are armed with these days. And god knows I could use some fucking sleep.